Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review: Pokémon White Version 2 (DS)

For all the graphical tweaks and upgrades that the Pokémon games undergo, there's a glaring omission when it comes to accommodating older gamers.

Rather than starting the game with, "Are you a boy or a girl?" the player should be able to hit the option, "I don't care! Skip the story! Let me play! I'm 35-years old and time is precious!" That feature will likely never be implemented but it would help strip out the part that I find completely insufferable about Pokémon: the story.

Kid wakes up, tapped to train Pokémon, for reasons unknown is like the best Pokémon trainer ever, "Hey, do you want to know how Pokéballs work?", etc. Wading through that stuff at the beginning and whenever it happens during the course of the story... the dialogue can't end soon enough so I can get back to good stuff.

In that vein, I'm just going to assume that you want me to jump to the good parts of this review.

Training Pokémon and battling trainers (earning badges) and Pokémon alike is still bulletproof and as addicting as ever. The ever-increasing challenge over the course of so many hours, broken up by a bit of exploring and insipid story beats, is great. The turn-based strategy elements have a kiddie veneer but it's great strategy. This is the part that I play Pokemon games for, grinding out experience points included. When to use which Pokémon is the crux of the game and it matches anything and everything Pokémon that came before it.

That's why I can tolerate the story and character interaction -- the Pokémon battles are that good. If the strategy was off even a smidgen, I'd drop this game.

- Aaron Simmer

The Good:
- Great turn-based strategy
- Instantly accessible to anyone that has played a Pokémon game previously

The Bad:
- Still no "Skip this Nonsense, Let Me Play!" option for older gamers

Score: 9.0 / 10